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Curious cold cures; Forget over-the-counter cold and flu treatments. NEL STAVELEY sniffs out some interesting 'cures'.

IT'S November: it's drizzling, dark by 7pm, and we're about to face that glorious time of year known as 'cold and flu season'. But it's not all bad news. On the bright side, November means we can can say it's Christmas next month, and early darkness means good box-set time.

Plus, you can turn to this wealth of weird and wonderful remedies to ward off the dreaded winter lurgy...

GET FISHY OR AT least, get down to your local fish counter. Earlier this year, a report by the Department of Family Medicine, at the University of Alberta, revealed zinc was the supplement we should be taking to ward off colds.

Studies found that it can up the function of white blood cells (the immunity ones) and boost the health of mucus membranes, which create the barrier against cold and flu viruses. Oysters are one of the highest-zinc level foods around; half a dozen oysters will provide more than twice your daily zinc needs.

If you're not keen on seafood, spinach, nuts and mushrooms also provide high amounts of zinc. (Word of warning, too much zinc long-term can be dangerous).

BREW UP THE humble drink that keeps on giving; tea isn't just comforting, packed with antioxidants, and proven to potentially help ward of dementia - it also helps fight colds.

|above, one of foods the levels zinc Not the caffeine itself, to be fair, but studies have found that a hot drink can have 'airflow, providing relief to a runny nose, cough, and blocked sinuses.

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL THE ultimate old-wives' cure for a cold, but is it a lot of (erm) broth-er over nothing? Well not entirely. Scientists at Tea may be comforting, but it's |also full of antioxidants which can help you fight off a cold the University of Nebraska Medical Centre, carried out experiments, and discovered that chicken soup can actually help fight colds.

It inhibits the migration of white blood cells, which may cause chesty coughs; the amino acid called cysteine found in chicken can help thin mucus, and therefore ease blocked noses.

Plus, the pepper normally sprinkled in soups acts to lift congestion. On a simpler level, it's also like a big culinary comfort blanket; that's got to help too.

DETER THE VAMPIRES THIS is another well-peddled grandmother-style cure, but while it doesn't hold quite the same sway as chicken soup, there is still some sense in it.

Garlic is believed to hold significant anti-bacterial and antioxidant qualities, and a past study in the US found that people who took garlic supplements for 12 weeks over winter got fewer colds than those who took a placebo.

SMELLY FEET NOT content with the lingering waft of garlic? Up your odour by slicing up an onion and putting it in your socks, so says one historical remedy.

It might sound a little unlikely, but there was (some) logic to it: onions contain allicin, a compound, also found in garlic, with infection-fighting qualities, and sulphur, which is believed to boost immune response.

to significant PUT A SOCK IN IT WE'RE not done with the feet yet.

A professor at a naturopathic medicine college in Canada recently argued that pulling on a pair of chilled wet socks at night can fight off a cold.

She argues the cold encourages your body to boost circulation to your feet and direct it away from your congested head, while also regulating your immune system and eliminating toxic waste. Apparently...

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and boost Garlic is |believed to hold significant anti-bacterial qualities

Oysters, |above, are one of the foods with the highest levels of zinc around
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Title Annotation:Editorial; Diary
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 18, 2014
Words:603
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